2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a 302-Horsepower Plug-In Beast

By Justin Cupler | November 27th, 2019

Since its soft announcement months ago, we’ve all waited patiently for the official debut of the plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4. Today, we finally get all the details, including its surprisingly powerful powertrain and its familiar Prime name borrowed from the Prius lineup.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime was touted as the most powerful RAV4, but we were uncertain if Toyota meant the most powerful in the current lineup or the most powerful ever. Today, that uncertainty is gone, as its 302-horsepower hybrid powertrain will easily make it the most powerful RAV4 ever, including the cult icon 269-horsepower 2006 to 2012 RAV4 V-6.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will continue to use a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower, though it will feature revised tuning when compared to the RAV4 Hybrid. This engine will combine with a pair of electric motors that give it 83 more horsepower than the RAV4 Hybrid. This results in an impressive 5.8-second 0-to-60 time, making it the second-quickest model in Toyota’s lineup.

On top of impressive performance, the 2021 RAV4 Prime is expected to deliver up to an estimated 39-mile all-electric driving range, beating the Prius Prime by 16 miles. This amounts to a Toyota-estimated 90 mpg-e combined rating.

The 2021 RAV4 Prime will come standard with all-wheel drive thanks to a rear-mounted electric motor that delivers extra traction as needed. It will also feature a Trail model that will enhance traction by braking a spinning wheel and sending power to wheels with grip. But off-road driving is only part of the equation, as this all-wheel-drive system will also reduce understeer for enhanced cornering.

It’s clear the 2021 RAV4 Prime will be a performance-oriented model, so it is no shock Toyota will offer it in just two sporty trim levels: SE and XSE.

The SE trim will show off a sporty look at a lower price. Its sporty exterior equipment will include 18-inch painted and machined alloy wheels, piano-black exterior accents, and a painted grille and diffuser. The RAV4 Prime XSE will add a two-tone paint job, 19-inch two-tone wheels, and vertical LED accent lights.

Standard features are also plentiful in both trims. The RAV4 Prime SE will come standard with heated front seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a 7-inch multi-information display, blind-spot monitoring, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, red contrast stitching, a power liftgate, an 8-inch touchscreen, Amason Alex, Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and more.

Buyers who want more from the RAV4 SE can opt for the Weather & Moonroof Package, which includes a moonroof, a heated steering wheel and rear outboard seats, a windshield wiper de-icer, and rain-sensing wipers.

The RAV4 Prime XSE’s standard features include adaptive headlights, paddle shifters, a moonroof, leatherette seating, a wireless charging pad, ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener, a 9-inch touchscreen, and more.

The RAV4 Prime XSE’s optional Premium Package pushes this plug-in crossover’s luxury to new levels with its dynamic navigation, JBL audio system, perforated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a panoramic moonroof, a digital rearview mirror, a four-way power passenger’s seat, a hands-free power liftgate, a 360-degree camera, and more.

Safety is also paramount for the 2021 RAV4 Prime with its standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, full-range adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning with steering assist, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-tracing assist, and road-sign assist. The aforementioned Premium Package on the XSE trim will enhance safety by adding rear cross-traffic braking and front and rear parking sensors with automatic braking.

Pricing is not available yet, but we know the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will arrive at the Garber Fox Lake Toyota showroom, serving Waukegan, McHenry, Crystal Lake, and the surrounding areas, in the summer of 2020. Keep an eye on our online inventory page to be the first to know when the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime hits our Waukegan area showroom. Can’t wait for this plug-in model to arrive? We have plenty of 2020 RAV4 Hybrid models in stock today. Stop by for a test drive.